FTC Sends Additional Warning Letters to Marketers Over Coronavirus Claims

Advertising Law

On May 21, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it had sent warning letters to an additional 50 marketers nationwide to stop making claims that their products and therapies can treat or prevent COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. This is the fifth set of warning letters the FTC has sent as part of its ongoing efforts to protect consumers from health-related COVID-19 claims that are allegedly unsubstantiated. The FTC has now sent similar letters to more than 120 companies and individuals.

Some of these letters were sent to companies that promote treatments, including acupuncture, homeopathic treatments, Chinese herbal medications, music therapy, ozone and intravenous therapies, and shields claimed to boost the immune system by protecting wearers from electromagnetic fields. Other letters were sent to marketers of nebulizers, hydrotherapy and freeze-dried horse milk.

According to the letters, there is currently no scientific evidence that these, or any, products or services can treat or cure COVID-19.

The letters stated that one or more of the efficacy claims made by the marketers are unsubstantiated because they are not supported by scientific evidence, and therefore they violate the FTC Act. The letters advised the recipients to immediately stop making claims that their products treat or cure COVID-19 and to notify the FTC within 48 hours about the specific actions they have taken to address the FTC’s concerns.

The letters also state that if the false claims do not cease, the FTC may seek a federal court injunction and an order requiring money to be refunded to consumers.

To read the warning letters, click here.

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